North Block, New Delhi
Dated the 15th April, 2013
Subject: Implementation of suo motu disclosure under Section 4 of RTI Act, 2005 — Issue of guidelines regarding:
Section 4(1)(b) of the RTI Act lays down the information which should be disclosed by Public Authorities on a suo motu or proactive basis. Section 4(2) and Section 4(3) prescribe the method of dissemination of this information. The purpose of suo motu disclosures under Section 4 is to place large amount of information in public domain on a proactive basis to make the functioning of the Public Authorities more transparent and also to reduce the need for filing individual RTI applications.
2. Since the promulgation of the Act in 2005, large amount of information relating to functioning of the government is being put in public domain. However, the quality and quantity of proactive disclosure is not up to the desired level. It was felt that the weak implementation of the Section 4 of the RTI Act is partly due to the fact that certain provisions of this Section have not been fully detailed and, in case of certain other provisions there is need for laying down detailed guidelines. Further there is need to set up a compliance mechanism to ensure that requirements under section 4 of the RTI Act are met.
3. In order to address the above, Government of India constituted a Task Force on suo motu disclosure under the RTI Act, 2005 in May 2011 which included representatives of civil society organizations active in the field of Right to Information, for strengthening compliance with provisions for suo motu or proactive disclosure as given in Section 4 of the RTI Act, 2005. Based on the report of the Task Force, the Government have decided to issue guidelines for suo motu disclosure under section 4 of the RTI Act.
4. Guidelines for Central Government Ministries/Departments are on:
i. Suo motu disclosure of more items under Section 4.
ii. Guidelines for digital publication of proactive disclosure under Section
iii. Detailing of Section 4(1)(b)(iii), 4(1)(b)(iv), 4(1)(b)(xi) and 4(1)(b)(xiv)
iv. Compliance mechanism for SUO MOTU disclosure (proactive disclosure) under the RTI Act, 2005.
5. The above guidelines are enclosed. However, it may be kept in mind that proactive disclosure should be done in the local language so that it remains accessible to public. It should be presented in a form that is easily understood and if technical words are used they should be carefully explained. As provided in section 4, disclosure should be made in as many mediums as feasible and disclosures should be kept up to date. The disclosure of information may be made keeping in mind the provisions of Section 8 to 11 of the RTI Act.
6. Central Government Ministries/ Departments should undertake suo motu disclosure and ensure compliance based on these guidelines.
7. The enclosed guidelines may be brought to the notice of all for compliance.
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